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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s avoidance of impeachment was going to be one of many problems the House speaker would have with “The Squad.” Over the summer, her grip on power began to weaken, as she tried to put down a party rebellion.
Pelosi’s compromise border security funding bill initially had only nominal Democratic opposition. But The Squad, consisting of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley, wanted to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, not fund it. The Senate approved a bipartisan bill 84-8. The Squad’s tweetstorms, however, created outrage. The congresswomen went in front of the microphones to declare the bill inhumane because it didn’t gut immigration enforcement.
Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, tweeted that Democrats who voted for the compromise border bill were “hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s.”
Pelosi struggled but kept enough progressives on board to pass the bill. During a caucus meeting shortly thereafter, Pelosi told Democrats to stop attacking each other because “a majority is a fragile thing.” “You got a complaint?” she said. “You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.”
The Squad Defies Pelosi
After Pelosi’s caucus lecture, The Squad just became more defiant. Omar claimed Pelosi didn’t care about resisting the Trump agenda. Pressley said Pelosi was “demoralizing” to a progressive cause. Ocasio-Cortez went all out by playing the age-old race card tactic against Pelosi.